Slow Reading

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As much as many of us would love to read faster so that we could read more books, science points to speed reading as little more than efficient skimming, partially because the eye has a limited range where it can truly focus:

A deeper problem, however—and the one that also threatens the new speed-reading apps—is that the big bottleneck in reading isn’t perception (seeing the words) but language processing (assembling strings of words into meanings).

So while it is possible to learn how to skim effectively, you can’t have your cake (speed) and eat it, too (comprehension).


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →